Dubai carrier Emirates has announced the launch of the double decker A380 aircraft to San Francisco and Houston, starting from December 1 and 3 respectively.
The A380 will add over 135 seats to San Francisco and 137 seats to Houston, representing a 38 per cent increase in overall passenger capacity and a 80 per cent increase in seats across its premium cabins.
Aside from 14 first class private suites and 76 business class seats, the aircraft will offer around 399 economy seats to San Francisco and around 401 seats to Houston, the airline said in a statement.
“Emirates continues to see strong customer demand from our US gateways,” said Hubert Frach, Emirates’ divisional senior vice president, Commercial Operations West.
“Since 2007, we have carried over 2.3 million passengers on the San Francisco and Houston routes, and our flagship A380 will allow us to connect even more people and facilitate trade between these important US cities and the Middle East, India, Africa and beyond.”
Emirates currently operates EK226 from San Francisco, which departs from San Francisco at 3:30pm and arrives in Dubai the following day at 7:25pm. The return flight EK 225 departs Dubai at 8:50am to arrive at San Francisco International Airport at 12:50pm the same day.
The airline’s daily flight EK211 to Houston departs from Dubai at 9:30am and arrives at 4:05pm. The return flight, EK212, takes off from George Bush Intercontinental Airport at 6:25pm and lands in Dubai at 7:05pm the next day.
San Francisco and Houston will be Emirates’ fourth and fifth US destinations to be serviced by an A380 in addition to New York and Los Angeles. It is planning to operate the service to Dallas and Fort Worth beginning in October this year.
Emirates operates A380 to 32 destinations across the world and has carried over 21.8 million passengers to global destinations on the aircraft since it began operating it just over five years ago.
The airline, whose fleet currently includes 47 of the jumbo jets, is also the world’s largest operator of A380s.